STATEMENT
The charges against Julian Assange are a threat to press freedom
24 May 2019
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Julian Assange attending a press conference at the Geneva Press Club in Geneva. Credit: Flikr/Antonio Marín Segovia

Throughout history, governments have used security legislation to stop journalists publishing information that is in the public interest, and they continue to do so today. Index is extremely concerned by announcements from the US government that it will take 17 new criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act.

The charges are that Assange unlawfully obtained and disclosed national defence information.

Index believes that this is a threat to press freedom in the USA and that it also sends a signal to other countries that may entrench or encourage their position to pursue and prosecute journalists who cover national security stories under similar legislation.

Commitment to freedom of speech is about a principle, not a person. Those principles must continue to be defended.

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